time off at the holidays: can my employer do that?

This is the time of year when my in-box gets flooded with questions about how companies can and can’t handle time off around the holidays. Here are answers to some of the questions I receive most commonly.

1. My company is closed around Christmas and making me use PTO or take the time unpaid. Can they do that?

They can indeed require that you use vacation time for that period, even if you don’t want to.

As for making you take the time without pay: If you’re non-exempt, they don’t need to pay you for time you didn’t work, so yes, this would be legal. But if you’re exempt, they’d need to pay you; the law is clear that exempt employees can’t have their salaries docked “for absences occasioned by the employer or by the operating requirements of the business.”

Either way, though, it’s not a great move, outside of industries where this is such a common practice that everyone knows to expect and plan for it.

2. I have to work on Christmas and New Year’s. Can they make me do that without extra pay or giving me a comp day?

Yes. No law requires extra compensation for working on holidays. However, if it’s normally a holiday for your company, you might ask about taking the holiday on a different day instead.

3. I arranged to take a vacation day the day after Thanksgiving. My office ended up closing at 1 p.m. that day and letting people go home early. But I’m still being charged a full vacation day. Shouldn’t they just deduct half a day of vacation?

Different employers handle this differently. Some will do what yours did; others will just charge a half day of vacation. For employers who do charge the full amount, the argument is that there’s benefit to being able to have a guaranteed full day off that you can plan on in advance, whereas the employees who came to work that day didn’t have that.

4. I’m an exempt employee, and my employer is closed down for two weeks over the holidays. If I’m expected to work a day or two during that time, am I entitled to either receive comp time or additional pay for the hours I work? These two weeks are paid staff holidays for all full-time employees.

Legally, there’s no requirement for that. But you could certainly approach your manager and say, “I’m missing out on two days of holiday pay that everyone else is getting since I’ll be working those days. Is it possible for me to take those two days in January (or later) instead?”

{ 172 comments… read them below }

  1. TootsNYC

    Every company I’ve worked for that has announced early closings before holidays but has insisted that if you take the day off, it counts against PTO as a full day.

    So if the half day is a surprise (which at some places it was; one of those “we haven’t officially said, but everybody knows it will happen” things), it was the same as on the holidays w/ the plan-ahead option.

    1. Allison

      I wonder if that extra paid half day off is considered a reward for the people who come in on those days.

      1. sjw

        In my company, we almost always close early on the day before major holidays. It’s anticipated and employees plan accordingly. However, if you want the day off, you take a full PTO day. Our philosophy is that the free half day is a “reward” for those people who got their butts out of bed and came to work, even for that half-day.

        Lots of folks — myself included — will go ahead and plan to work on those days, because it’s an easy day in the office and you don’t have to use PTO! Although, working on Christmas Eve is not very appealing ….

    2. Alienor

      I’m not a fan of the “unofficially official” approach because at least at my company, it always seems to play out differently from year to year – sometimes it’s a real half-day, sometimes it’s leaving an hour or two early, and sometimes there’s never an announcement at all and everyone is grumpy. I mostly just take a PTO day anymore–I’d rather know I have the day off than sit around waiting and wondering when I’m going to be released.

      1. Arjay

        At my company too. And it doesn’t seem to have anything to do with workload or business needs; around here it mostly depends on who’s in charge that day, and whether or not the message to go home early cascades down to our team. It can be frustrating, to the point where I’d rather someone just come out and tell us we’re staying all day. Instead we linger in limbo, and I don’t think much gets accomplished anyway.

        1. hellcat

          Same in my office. We never got the message on the day before Thanksgiving, and it was so slow and I was so cranky I’m just gonna take the vacation days before Christmas and New Year’s.

    3. Menacia

      My company does close a little early (maybe an hour or two) the day before *some* holidays, but it’s never a guarantee. If you take the day off, that’s your prerogative, as it is for the company to close early. I can’t even imagine what an administrative nightmare it would be to have to figure out credits for those who took a vacation day but then missed out on an early closing.

      1. Menacia

        And as others have noted, an early closing is also dependent upon the workload, and even in my company, there are always people who stay the entire day because of the nature of their job. I don’t think anyone can look at early closings as a guarantee. It’s just not possible to run a company in that way. While there may be a plan to close early, those plans could always change at a moment’s notice. I have never, not once, thought about asking for vacation time back if I took off on a day where everyone who came to work was let out early. It boggles my mind that anyone would even think they deserve it. Am I missing something?

    4. JanSC

      The company I work for has already announced that we are allowed to take half days on either Christmas Eve or New Years Eve. My manager however has only chosen a few favored employees to get half days off (but getting paid the full 8 hours) while the rest of us work full days on both Eves. Is this legal?

  2. Ask a Manager Post author

    (Thanks to everyone who pointed out the two typos in this post! They’re fixed. I delete grammar corrections not because they’re not appreciated but just so they don’t distract readers — and wanted to explain that so that the multiple people who posted them didn’t think it was a sinister cover-up.)

    1. The Cosmic Avenger

      Hint to other commenters: when I have some kind of flag or note specifically for Alison, I throw in a link to Google or notarealwebsite dot com so the comment goes into moderation. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe that she found that very convenient. :)

      1. TootsNYC

        ooh, nice! I spotted one thing I thought was an error but decided not to even mention it bcs I had another comment and didn’t want to distract.

    2. FiveByFive

      Just as long as there are some sinister things going on. It’s absolutely no fun if nothing is sinister.

  3. Ann O'Nemity

    #3 – I know of several companies who use the “work a partial day, get paid for a full day” offer to entice their employees to work after Thanksgiving and Christmas to have some level of coverage. It may seem unfair to the employees who have to take a full PTO day but I like it better than the other option, which is to limit the number of PTO requests and force some people to work those days. In other words, carrot instead of stick.

    1. INTP

      That makes sense to me – it doesn’t seem at all unfair when you look at it more as a bonus for people willing to come in on a holiday.

      1. SL #2

        Reminds me of a professor I had who gave a “promo code” for anyone who came to class the day before Thanksgiving. We weren’t told what it was for, but when we took our final, there was a bonus question at the end that asked for the code. I assume there were one or two extra credit points involved somewhere when calculating our semester grades!

        1. xarcady

          When I was a TA for a large lecture class, fewer than half the students showed up the day before Thanksgiving. The professor told the students what one of the questions on the final would be about, telling them the novel and a rough idea of the question he was going to ask.

          The last week of classes, I was inundated by students wanting the notes from that class. I asked one student, who I knew sat with several friends every class, why he didn’t just ask one of his friends. “No one is giving out the notes for that class,” he said, “I can’t figure out why!”

        2. Pinkie Pie Chart

          One of my profs for an online class put the answer to a question on the final in a video lecture. If you didn’t watch it, you didn’t get the answer. We were required to watch all the videos, but I know many people didn’t bother. Sucks to be them. :)

        3. Anxa

          I had some instructors do that, which I thought was kind of petty.

          The best solution I found to that situation was when instructors used that class period for a non-essential review or a bonus lecture, sometimes going over their research or having class discussions on applications of the material.

          That way no one was penalized for missing class, people were rewarded for coming in, and the reward was something that could be made up informally by coming into office hours.

    2. Allison

      Yeah, I get that it may not seem fair to employees who would totally be there if it weren’t for family trips they don’t have much control over (I’d hate to miss going to Philly with the rest of my family for Christmas, and spending the holiday alone in Boston just so I could be back at work on the 26th), but I also see the benefit in rewarding employees who do come in, or offering a sort of consolation prize to employees who needed to be there because the office needed coverage and they lost out to other employees who requested that day off.

    3. Anonsie

      I think this is a good idea assuming it’s known in advance that these are your options. Seems like a lot of offices like to make this a surprise (judging from letters here, I can’t say I’ve ever seen it). I’d be miffed if I took the day because I needed the afternoon and then found out I could’ve done this, or if I thought I was going to have the full day to wrap things up and then suddenly had this offered.

      1. INTP

        I assume they don’t make it a certain thing ahead of time just in case something comes in or a deadline is moved up or there’s a fire to put out or something, and they need those last few hours but can’t require people to stay. Like they know they’re shooting to finish the day by 3pm, but don’t want anyone to make plans in case it actually takes until 5pm, and then if they’re done at 1pm that’s a bonus for the employees who worked efficiently that day.

    4. Lia

      This is how my employer handles it. We need SOME coverage, so we require the full day of PTO even though there’s a good chance we’ll get out early.

      However, good chance is not certain. About 1/4 of the time, they don’t close early, but you never know until that day what will happen. I now just take the day off rather than banking on an early dismissal.

      1. The IT Manager

        I was going to point that out. I imagine if there’s a problem or a crowd of customers the getting off early is not guaranteed. The people who take the leave get the guarantee.

  4. ThatGirl

    Re: #3 – the company I work for lets us out 2 hours early on the days before Thanksgiving, Christmas
    Eve and New Year’s, and 3 hours for summer holidays. It’s always announced as some sort of surprise, but really, it’s standard. But if you want the day off, you have to use a full PTO day. That’s just the way it goes.

    1. Graciosa

      Consistent with that philosophy, we are not allowed to create any expectations that people who do work will be let out early – even though everyone knows this is going to happen.

      The expectations are so real that they once caused an issue for a new executive at OldJob. He sent out a lovely email message telling people that in honor of the holiday and because they had done such a fabulous job all year, they could leave at 4.

      Apparently no one thought to tell him people were generally dismissed between 12 and 1.

      His message did not result in the positive reaction he expected.

      1. SL #2

        Yikes! Honest mistake on his part, but I bet there were people who didn’t view it that way. Did everyone leave at noon or at 4, after that?

      2. ThatGirl

        Ha! We actually had some kerfuffle here over the summer, when we got a new CEO and the “early release” around 1:30 was announced as needing to be made up (more like comp time, then). People really rebelled against that (it’s not a “gift” if we have to work three extra hours over the rest of the short week) and the policy was changed back.

    2. LQ

      So if someone say requested to leave an hour early would you charge them PTO for that hour? Like you close at 5 and they request off at 4 and then let everyone go at 3, would that person be charged an hour of PTO? Or would you as a supervisor just say, eh don’t bother requesting that last hour?

      1. TootsNYC

        Me, I’d just say, “eh, don’t bother requesting that last hour.” But I’ve always worked somewhere that even if we did work past the expected early dismissal time, it wouldn’t be by that much.

      2. MommaTRex

        I don’t think anyone would charge them for that hour. There’s a big difference between not coming in at all and coming in for most of the day. I take Christmas Eve off all the time, but it doesn’t bother me that people are excused at 3, because I didn’t even have to bother getting dressed and coming in.

      3. ThatGirl

        My department’s general policy is that if it’s less than 4 hours, you don’t ask for PTO – it’s just assumed you’ll be making it up at some point. They don’t want people carving up PTO into tiny intervals. We’re basically all salaried anyway.

      4. Anonforthis

        I’m hourly, but I’ve been let out early before Christmas at Exjob, and we usually got that hour. It was never more than an hour, though! But they did give everybody extra PTO during the ice storm in 2007, when we were closed the Monday following the storm, so being out didn’t ding our already limited vacation time.

        My boss now lets me go way early and gives me the rest of the day. I don’t know if that will happen when she leaves at the end of the year. :(

    3. BananaPants

      It’s well-known around here that the day before Thanksgiving the managers leave an hour or two early and will tell their people to leave early too on their way out. On December 24th at around 1 PM the VP will go around and encourage everyone to get an early start on the holiday and sends out an email to that effect by 2 PM.

      It’s irrelevant to me because since my second year of work, I’ve always had at least 1-2 vacation days to burn at the end of the year so I’m not in on the 24th anyways. Usually it’s a lot more than that; this year I have 6 days left to use or lose.

      We have a paid holiday between Christmas and New Year’s. Like, they turn off the heat and the lights, the cafeteria is closed, etc. In my organization, those who need to come in occasionally to check on things left running during the shutdown are given overtime (for non-exempt) or comp time in January (for exempt).

      1. SL #2

        Ohh, getting overtime for coming in to check messages sounds fantastic, even if it’s just an hour or so. I should ask my boss about that, since it’ll most likely be me who will do all that during the paid holiday…

    4. Ad Astra

      It does seem like companies could avoid a lot of hurt feelings and “It’s not fair!” claims by just announcing ahead of time when they’re closing early. We know that the office closes at noon on Christmas Eve, so you have the opportunity to save yourself the PTO day if that’s important to you. If it’s more important to have the whole day off, use the PTO.

      1. Maxwell Edison

        Back at ToxicJob, it used to be standard for us to get sprung a few hours early on days before major holidays. Then it became random as to whether it would happen or not, which resulted in no increased productivity but a lot of grumbling and clock-watching. What didn’t help was that within the department, you could only go home if your manager specifically said you could. Some managers told their direct reports while others didn’t, so half the department got to go home early while the other half sat there, annoyed and resentful. Then the early dismissals stopped altogether, though because there was never an official announcement, we’d get our hopes up every time.

      2. OfficePrincess

        In my job the workflow is variable enough that we will announce a goal of being out by X time. If the guys on the floor get done faster, we get to leave earlier, but if they drag their feet, we’re stuck until they’re done.

  5. Amber Rose

    Anyone non-exempt working on a stat holiday like Christmas here in my part of Canada gets time and a half or double time pay by law (can’t remember which.) Assuming you worked the day before and the day after, you either get normal pay for not working that day or extra pay for showing up.

      1. Chinook

        “This why we all want to move to Canada.”

        Just research carefully. Every province has different stat holidays (Boxing Day, Family Day, Remembrance Day and August long weekend all vary by province) and, if you work for a federally regulated employer, you fall under federal holidays (but not if you are a temp for that employer, then you care covered by provincial laws).

        Why yes, I have lived and worked in multiple provinces and industries. What makes you ask that?

        1. Blurgle

          And which holidays are major and which minor changes from time to time. This year I was astonished to find the local Safeway open on Thanksgiving afternoon – astonished and thankful.

          I should explain. At least in my home province all but ‘essential’ retail businesses – medical clinics, pharmacies, veterinarians, auto repair shops, gas stations, restaurants, hotels, transportation services, convenience stores, and a few others (but not including supermarkets) – are by provincial law not allowed to be open on major statutory holidays. That applies to most offices too; unless you provide support services to an essential service (transporting medicine to pharmacies, say, or providing tech support to the 911 centre or a hospital) you have to be closed as well. And it applies not just on major stat holidays like Christmas, Easter, New Year’s, or Canada Day, but also Sunday evenings. 24 hour stores such as Walmart or Sobeys are open from 7 AM Monday to 11 PM Saturday, then 9 to 6 Sunday.

      2. Windchime

        Or work at the grocery store where my son works. Getting paid double time and a half for holidays is standard under his union contract. It usually means that people clamor to work the holiday instead of having to be coerced into it.

    1. OriginalEmma

      I keep seeing folks here use the term “stat holiday.” Are they spelling “state” wrong? Is “stat” an unusual shorthand for standard? Or is it something else entirely?

      1. BananaPants

        I believe it’s short for “statutory” – basically that it’s a law in Canada that certain days are paid holidays.

      2. Blurgle

        It’s Canadian slang, I’m afraid; sometimes we don’t realize our slNg is slang, or not universal.

    2. jmkenrick

      I remember getting time and half on 4th of July when I worked retail. This was in CA. However, I don’t know if that was due to a law or just something my employer did.

        1. jmkenrick

          Awesome. Well, it must have had the intended effect. Working holidays was generally pretty popular.

        2. Tanya

          Is it legal in Philly or anywhere for an employer to give a part time worker 2 weeks off? I need those hours. I also saw a post online for my position.

      1. MKT

        I worked in retail, specifically a union grocery chain, in California and part of our contract said that if you’d been in the union X years(less than 3 or 5 I think) you got 1.5 time. 5 to 10 years or so, double time, 10 to 15+ years: triple time. YES. Triple time.
        One holiday, maybe Thanksgiving, I was working with one of the younger managers, but he’d been there for a long time(since he was like 16 or so) who was making triple time that day. We were in the back of the store doing some stocking and he was like, “Wait….Ok, I just got paid $1.10” 60 seconds later…. $1.10
        It was hilarious! He’s lucky we all liked him and that we were all earning double time ourselves.

    3. Ihmmy

      heck yeah Canada! I’m honestly a bit aghast that the US doesn’t have any sort of requirement around extra pay for holidays, at least some of the important/big ones like Christmas.

      when I worked places that were open on Xmas day, we’d usually get to rotate between having Xmas eve, Xmas day, or Boxing day off. Or if it was a really busy place, everyone knew they had to come in for Boxing day for sure but we could pick between either Xmas eve or New years eve (mostly for malls in that scenario).

      1. Little Teapot

        I agree. In Australia it’s double time, usually, for public holidays.

        In my job I get:
        Time and a half on Saturdays
        Double time on Sundays
        Double time and a half on public holidays

        Particularly given as I don’t celebrate Christmas you can be sure I’ll be working!!

        It’s always standard for public holidays to be paid time and a half or double at least in almost all sectors. I know of some retail who don’t do penalty rates on Saturdays but over all it’s by far the most common thing. I don’t understand America sometimes!

        1. Chinook

          “Particularly given as I don’t celebrate Christmas you can be sure I’ll be working!!”

          When I worked for Tim Hortons, there were two girls who volunteered to work the Christmas Day shift at the drive thru every year because they didn’t celebrate and they always made a killing in tips that day. They said they could actually tell when word of them being open had been announced on the radio because they could see the cars start to build up in their direction over the bridge.

          1. Al Lo

            When I worked at Starbucks, the tips were divided out weekly (total tips / total hours worked * your hours), but major holidays were dedicated tip days that were divided out hourly amongst only those workers.

    4. Felicia

      I think it’s time and a half for stat holidays anywhere in Canada, just what those stat holidays happen to be vary a little (but not a lot) by province.

      And yes, stat is short for statutory.

      1. AcademiaNut

        I got stat holiday pay as a part time worker, too, in my high school job. I think it was pro-rated based on your working hours, so I got a partial day pay for those days.

        1. Tara R.

          Yeah, for part time I get 4 hours of pay for stats I don’t work (and 1.5X for those that I do, obviously– had no idea that was a Canadian thing!). My mom always worked the 3-11 Christmas shift at her second job growing up; all the Christmassy stuff happened in the morning, and it was a great way to pay for holiday expenses. I once worked Canada Day and my manager messed up and we also went overtime, resulting in a few hours of triple pay (a beautiful day for my paycheck, a sad day for my manager).

  6. Retail Lifer

    #2 I sympathize. I work for a mall. I have retail management duties but I’m still considered part of the “office” staff. The office was officially closed on Thanksgiving, but another manager and I still had to work because the mall was open that night. So everyone else in the office got a 4 day work week and the holiday off to spend with their families and we got neither. And no additional day off later, per our stupid company policy.

    1. alter_ego

      Yeah, I worked in a retail store for a while that had a HUGE corporate presence as well as all the retail stores. Every. Single. Year. they would send an email to the whooooole company mailing list saying “hey, everyone gets the day after thanksgiving off, even though it isn’t an official holiday” and then alllllll the way at the bottom, it would say “this doesn’t apply to retail employees though”. I refuse to believe that this massive corporation didn’t have a way to send something to everyone on the corporate side without it also going to everyone on the retail side, getting our hopes up and then immediately dashing them.

      1. Ad Astra

        Not quite the same, but: Last year, I was laid off — along with three or four other people in an office of, like, 30 — on a Friday in October. With the exception of the incensed long-time employee who stormed off after his meeting with HR, everyone returned on Monday for a two- or three-week severance period. That Monday, our parent company sent an email out to everyone announcing the addition of an extra paid holiday (the day after Christmas, I think) for all employees. That was rough.

        An hour later, our executive director — who actually worked in our building and knew about the layoffs and presumably might have noticed that the announcement had already been sent to the entire company — sent out another email to just our office, announcing the extra holiday and congratulating everyone on all their accomplishments for the year. I hear all the layoff survivors got new chairs after we left, too.

        1. alter_ego

          ugh, that just feels cruel. In a similar not quite the same moment, I started a co-op at a big defense contractor right after raises had been announced for everyone. Like a week later, I was included on an email sent to the whole company informing them that there was now a freeze on bonuses and raises due to the economy, and no one would be receiving the raises they had just been promised. It didn’t affect me at all, since I was a. a co-op not subject to raises, and b. brand new, so I wouldn’t have been getting one anyway. But everyone else in this 900 employee branch of the company was PISSED.

      2. OfficePrincess

        That’s really tone deaf. Creating separate mailing lists isn’t that hard. Around here, things are targeted pretty well to where only management knows exactly what corporate is getting in terms of extra days off. It sucks a little for us since management at all of the sites is rolled into the corporate policies but only get the time depending on business need, but our boss lets us juggle time around among ourselves.

  7. AdAgencyChick

    #4 reminds me of the days when ad agencies, at least in the niche I work in, used to close down for the week between Christmas and New Year’s. Most of our clients are closed for that week, so it’s not like any work gets done or clients get billed.

    Then higher-ups started to figure out that if they made the office open that week, although it might not make that week super-profitable, it did mean employees would have to give up other time off they wanted during the year in order to take the holiday time off, thus increasing billings overall.

    The worst part of it to me is that teams always insist that there be coverage in the office if the office is open, even if the team isn’t going to have work to do. Which means someone, maybe a few someones, get stuck here even if there’s no need.

    Anyway, back in the good old days, if you were working on a brand that was launching or otherwise had some reason to be working over the week between Christmas and New Year’s, you did get comp time to be used the following year.

    Can you tell I miss those days?

  8. HRChick

    Our company has a very generous holiday pay. Non-exempt employees who have to work holidays get their 8 hour holiday pay AND time and a half.

    Our security people look forward to Christmas when we’re closed down for basically two weeks because they get so much money lol

    Exempt employees just come in and work however long it takes them to get done what they need to get done and get out.

    1. blue_eyes

      A friend of mine used to do clerical work at a hospital, and she loved working Christmas for this reason. Her hospital paid overtime rate plus a holiday pay bonus. And she was Jewish, so she wasn’t even missing out on holiday time with her family.

  9. Anon.

    There are some state laws that mandate overtime pay for certain categories of workers who have to work on certain holidays! I made time-and-a-half bonus pay many a time during my retail years in Massachusetts thanks to the state law.

    I suspect it’s not true of *most* states anymore but at the very least it still applies to some workers in MA and may in other states as well.

    1. alter_ego

      The great thing about MA is that every single sunday counts as a holiday. So we would fight over Sunday shifts, since every single sunday was time and a half.

      1. LBK

        Confession: when I took over making my department’s schedule, I gave myself an 8-hour shift every Sunday just so I could get those 4 extra hours of pay. I will fully concede that it was an abuse of my power but I have no regrets.

        1. alter_ego

          That doesn’t seem so bad to me. My department manager the last time I worked retail used to give himself the 7AM to 4PM shift every monday through friday, making him basically the only employee in the whole store who got to function like he had a typical 9-5 job (the store had about 6 or 7 managers, and all the rest of them worked at least 2 closing shifts a week, and at least two weekends a month. He was just a dick). The rest of us had the joy of working all the nights and weekends. I wouldn’t have minded at all if someone gave themselves every Sunday shift. The extra pay was a nice incentive, but the alternative was having a weekend day off, which also feels great.

      2. Liana

        Yes! I have a part time job at a grocery store and every Sunday shift I have, I get paid time and a half. We have a lot of college students working at this store and that extra pay makes a huge difference to them.

      1. Arielle

        Interesting! I had no idea this was an MA thing. My boyfriend works retail here in MA and gets time and a half on Sundays but I thought it was a company policy.

  10. xarcady

    The company I temp for requires that a permanent employee “supervise” any temp in the building, because it is a secure facility. But the permanent employees want to leave early the day before holidays. The temps want to work as many hours as possible, because they aren’t going to get paid for the holiday.

    Sometimes there has been a mad scramble to find one permanent employee on the floor who will be working until 5, who then “supervises” 20 or so temps. But it is not always possible to find someone willing to stay until 5, when they could leave at 2 or 3.

    So most departments let people go early. But only some of them tell the temps to put down a full day’s worth of hours. Usually, it’s only about 2-2.5 hours that the temps get paid that they didn’t work.

    Surprise! The temps talk to each other. Now all the temps are trying to switch departments. (Not me, I work in one of the departments that always tells us to bill a full day.)

  11. TB

    I’m confused about #1. My employer closes between Christmas and New Years. Everyone, exempt or not, has to take vacation time or leave without pay on those days (though some can get permission to work if their manager approves it.) Sounds like this might not be legal? I would really be surprised if my employer did something blatantly illegal.

    1. MommaTRex

      Sounds 100% legal. Your employer can dictate when you get vacation time. Well, at least in the U.S. I don’t know about other countries.

      1. MommaTRex

        Oh wait. Maybe you meant the exempt part unpaid? That I don’t know so much. I work for the government, so we can’t get paid for time we didn’t work (other than paid leave), even if we are exempt.

        1. fposte

          Yeah, that’s trickier. They may be okay for the whole week off (assuming that’s what’s happening from the 28th to the 1st), but if they have any single-day closures, they can only take PTO, not dock pay, for exempt employees when it’s an employer-occasioned absence. Otherwise they risk making the exempt employees non-exempt.

          1. TB

            This year it’s going to be a whole week off, because Christmas and NYD are both Fridays. But on a year when Christmas is on a Wednesday, for example, we would work Monday and Tuesday, have Wednesday as a holiday, and then the office would be closed on Thursday or Friday, with exempt employees required to take those as vacation days or unpaid days. Does the fact that people can work if they get their manager’s permission make a difference? Not everybody has the option to do so.

            1. fposte

              Maybe. That might be enough cover for it to be technically voluntary, though I strongly suspect that’s stretching it. And is the no-pay version only for people who are out of PTO, or is it straight up that exempt people get paid for a partial week, PTO or no? Or is it a “choice”?

              And we’re sure that you’re exempt and not just salaried, right?

              1. fposte

                Oh, okay, you say below that it’s PTO if you’ve got it. I still am skeptical that that’s enough to make it okay to dock people without PTO, but we’re getting into shadings that somebody more knowledgeable than I would probably have to parse.

              2. TB

                Actually, people who have PTO available do have the option to take LWOP instead. If, for example, they want to save it for a vacation in June, when taking a week of LWOP would be frowned upon. So it is truly a choice. And yes, I am most definitely exempt.

                1. fposte

                  “Truly a choice” may be their loophole, then–they’re not docking but allowing people to preserve paid vacation if they choose. But as I said, we’re parsing things finer than my knowledge is equipped to assess at this point.

                1. Ask a Manager Post author

                  Ah, but look at A in that section: “An employee is not paid on a salary basis if deductions from the employee’s predetermined compensation are made for absences occasioned by the employer or by the operating requirements of the business.” The business shutting down on that days would fall under that.

                2. MommaTRex

                  Sorry, that’s what I meant about “voluntary” but I didn’t expand on the thought because my browser was dying.

                3. MommaTRex

                  Also, below I left an excerpt about the public agency employees, which can also be found at the link if you scroll to the bottom.

                4. doreen

                  But right before the line AAM quotes, it says this
                  “Exempt employees need not be paid for any workweek in which they perform no work.” The only way that makes sense is if the second line is talking about absences of less than a week. Nothing I can find directly addresses the contradiction- but I found a link (separate comment) that gives examples of improper deductions and they are all less than a full work week.

                  Examples of improper deductions include:
                  Deduction for a partial-day absence to attend a parent-teacher conference
                  Deduction of a day of pay because the employer was closed due to inclement weather or a Company holiday
                  Deduction of three days of pay because the employee was absent from work for jury duty, rather than merely offsetting any amount received as payment for the jury duty
                  Deduction for a two day absence due to a minor illness when the employer does not provide wage replacement benefits for such absences

      2. TB

        It’s not the enforced use of vacation time I’m confused about, but the option of taking leave without pay if you don’t have enough vacation time accrued. According to what Alison said, it looks like they can’t legally shut down the office and not pay exempt employees.

        1. fposte

          I’m trying to find a source that says yes or no in black and white, but I believe that if it’s the whole week, they can do it; it’s if it’s a partial week they’re asking for trouble.

          Being a government employee can affect some things, but it doesn’t usually let you skirt FLSA.

          1. fposte

            Okay, I found one newspaper piece by a lawyer that supports my recollection: she says “The law doesn’t care where the bucket of money comes from as long as the exempt employee is paid the employee’s full salary when the employer closes the workplace for a period of less than one full week.”

            The “less than one full week” may be key in your situation, TB, because it sounds like they may be closing for the full week.

            1. TB

              That may be it. They’re closed for a full week, even if that week happens to encompass two work weeks.

              1. fposte

                Well, I’m not sure they’re okay doing it that way (not that they’re asking me); I think they’re good to go on the week ending on the 1st if they’re closed for all 5 days, but if they’re doing it for the 25th or more days on top of that the previous week, that is dubious to me too. It’s possible there’s some loophole that lets them do it (I remember elaborate sophistry going on when we as state employees got furloughed for a single day out of the week), but I’m not going to let my raised eyebrow drop about the “encompassing two work weeks” notion without knowing more.

                1. fposte

                  Yeah, I rocked mine a little on the furlough thing, but it’s not like I could tip the whole university.

                2. MommaTRex

                  AHA! I found a section in Title 29 about public agency employees that includes that special furlough thing:

                  §541.710 Employees of public agencies.
                  (a) An employee of a public agency who otherwise meets the salary basis requirements of §541.602 shall not be disqualified from exemption under §§541.100, 541.200, 541.300 or 541.400 on the basis that such employee is paid according to a pay system established by statute, ordinance or regulation, or by a policy or practice established pursuant to principles of public accountability, under which the employee accrues personal leave and sick leave and which requires the public agency employee’s pay to be reduced or such employee to be placed on leave without pay for absences for personal reasons or because of illness or injury of less than one work-day when accrued leave is not used by an employee because:
                  (1) Permission for its use has not been sought or has been sought and denied;
                  (2) Accrued leave has been exhausted; or
                  (3) The employee chooses to use leave without pay.
                  (b) Deductions from the pay of an employee of a public agency for absences due to a budget-required furlough shall not disqualify the employee from being paid on a salary basis except in the workweek in which the furlough occurs and for which the employee’s pay is accordingly reduced.

                3. fposte

                  @MommaTRex–ooh, interesting! I’m raising an eyebrow a little that they say it doesn’t disqualify you from being salaried but they don’t say anything about what it does to your exempt status in that situation. My state DOL said that we’d be technically non-exempt during that week, which was my sticking point–if we were going to be non-exempt, what did that mean for all the hours over 32 we still had to work to get our jobs done? (They eventually decided you could also do a salary deduction without furlough, which is what I chose.)

                  Thanks for the find–I didn’t even think to look for law on furloughs. I guess it’s been pretty needed, though.

    2. Kelly

      My dad’s in management at a union manufacturing plant. The union votes to decide whether to work between Christmas and New Year’s Day or to shut down. They’ve voted to shut down every year for the past several years at both the plants he’s managed. They get paid but the non-union people, including management, has to use vacation for those four days. My mother routinely complains about that because that’s four days of vacation that he has to burn in December when he would have rather used them in the fall and added a couple of days onto their main vacation out to Montana. He also wants to work on his end of 2015/beginning of 2016 workload, before leaving for the corporate retreat in Florida. He really doesn’t want to be doing work that could have been done during that short week during his weekends in January.

  12. Ad Astra

    I’m starting a new job two weeks before Christmas and I’ll get that whole week between Christmas and New Year’s off, with pay. I feel like the luckiest girl in the world. This will be my first week-long vacation since 2011.

    1. AvonLady Barksdale

      I did that last year! It was the best way to ease into a new job. This year, because of where Christmas and New Year’s fall– and because we’re insanely busy– we’re trying hard to completely shut down after the 18th. My fingers are crossed. It would be SO NICE.

  13. Employment Lawyer

    #2 is actually state-dependent. For example, not only does my own state of Mass. require time and a half for certain holidays (though only in retail businesses) it also prohibits employers from making work on those holidays madatory.

    1. OfficePrincess

      Is it just retail that can’t make holidays mandatory or is that all employers? I can think of plenty of employers that need to stay open regardless of the holiday.

    2. Ask a Manager Post author

      Wow, so I just looked up Massachusetts’ laws on this, and they’re really different from the norm!

      Massachusetts has blue laws and actually forbids some types of businesses from being open on Sundays. And “most retail stores may not open on Thanksgiving Day or Christmas Day, and Massachusetts law specifies the limited categories of establishments that may open on those holidays.”

      I find this a huge overreach by the government, but okay.

      Also, in Massachusetts, if a retailer has more than 7 employees, then any nonexempt workers must receive Sunday Premium Pay, at a rate of pay at least one and one-half times their regular hourly rate. Also, employers there cannot require employees to work on Sundays. And any retail store that operates on New Year’s Day, Columbus Day, or Veteran’s Day must pay holiday premium pay rate of at least one and one-half times the employee’s regular rate of pay to each nonexempt employee who works those days.

      This is all very unusual. I don’t know of other states that have those regulations but there may be others — anyone?

      1. SL #2

        In all the Black Thursday ads I’ve seen in recent years (Target’s, for example), there’s a little asterisk next to the “Open 6 PM on Thanksgiving!” bit that says “except in MA.” That’s how I learned about their law!

      2. LBK

        I was in retail when Black Friday midnight openings first started popping up a few years ago. We’d planned to have people start coming in at 10PM on Thanksgiving to get the store ready and we actually had to change that plan last minute once this law started getting media attention (because no one had even realized it existed until then).

        I totally agree that it’s weird for these relics of religious lawmaking to still be in effect and for them to have been repeatedly ruled as constitutional, but I won’t deny that I appreciated all the overtime I made from working on Sundays! And if a holiday fell on a Sunday you got double overtime, so those were extremely lucrative shifts.

        1. UK Nerd

          The UK still has a ton of this stuff going one, what with having a state religion. Larger shops can only open for 6 hours on a Sunday and that’s only since 1994; it took 27 attempts to get that through parliament. They aren’t allowed to open at all on Christmas Day or Easter Sunday.

          There are still campaigns to lift the restrictions on Sunday trading but nobody’s arguing with big shops closing on those two holidays.

      3. doreen

        At least one county in NJ (Bergen) still has Sunday blue laws and it appears that Maine and Rhode Island join Massachusetts regarding Thanksgiving and Christmas. And those blue laws can be strange. My husband worked in a homecenter in NJ 25 years ago. Apparently the rules dictated what could be sold , not the type of establishment that can open. Stores that sold allowable items – but you couldn’t buy nails in my husband’s store or a small appliance or T shirt at a warehouse store.

      4. Person of Interest

        Yup, I grew up in MA and those blue laws are one of those colonial times holdover things, from when separation of church and state wasn’t so much a thing. Then, once people got over the idea of working on Sunday being a sin, the labor community had an opportunity to use it as a bargaining chip. Liquor sales in particular have strict regs about opening on Sunday.

      5. Observer

        They still have Blue Laws? I thought they were ruled unconstitutional. I know that NY used to have them, and in Orthodox communities, that really was an issue, especially around various holidays.

        My recollection is that they were challenged in court and were struck down.

      1. voyager1

        The USA would be smart to follow Mass with Federal law. Honestly do people really need a 60in TV on Thanksgiving night. Have we as a society became that entitled?!?! Talk about checking some privledge.

        1. Observer

          The US would be smart to disallow the Mass law. I agree that the whole “Black Friday” thing is pretty atrocious, and I never go into a major store then.

          But, Blue Laws (ie laws the enshrine Christian holidays and Sabbath as THE days for people to take off) fly in the face of the most basic separation of Church and State.

          What the US should look at, in my opinion, is stuff like the 1 day in 7 rules that apply in some jurisdictions. As well as updating the overtime regulations. Let’s face it, if businesses had to pay more out of pocket to make people work insane hours, they would definitely plan things differently.

    3. BananaPants

      That was not my husband’s experience working in retail in MA as recently as 2 years ago. He had to work Sundays and holidays all the time and never got time and a half, but I believe they said it was because every retail employee was on 100% commission (they had been base+commission but switched during his training period). He didn’t get time and a half working Sundays during his training period when he was hourly non-exempt; his district manager said it was because he worked partially in MA and partially in a neighboring state, where we reside. They also never gave him his final commission check, claiming that every customer he had in his last 2 months of work ended up returning their purchases so there was no commission to give (based on Glassdoor reviews, this is common).

      They were so sketchy and awful that we weren’t surprised that they’ve been sued for labor law violations in several states.

  14. Workfromhome

    #1 may not be illegal but its one of the scuzzier things a company can do in my opinion. We went though this with the office being “closed” except for emergency staff between x mas and new years. People were required to use vacation days to cover the closure time. Vacation time accumulates so if you were hired shortly before Christmas you might have to use up all your vacation time and not be able to take vacation for months until you accumulate more. Others may have planned on saving the vacation to take a 1 week or longer stretch were prevented.The impact on employee moral was huge.
    The idea of having to take vacation (as a salaried employee) when you can’t go in to work because it isn’t open does not encourage employees to go the extra mile. It simply breeds resentment.

    Plus they managed to implement this the same year that they stopped giving the normal Xmas bonus (usually small like 50-100 gift cards) and instead decided to donate in your name to x charity. Smart people see through this stuff. Company gets a tax break for the donation. Low paid employee who might have used that gift card to buy something for his kids now sees it donated to a charity he may not even support.

  15. Former Diet Coke Addict

    I get one week of vacation per year. My boss closes for five working days over Christmas. So either I never take any time off ever, or I go unpaid over Christmas.

    It’s terrible. I would be happy to come in and work (dead quiet and boring but I can catch up on….doing nothing) but apparently that is not an option.

  16. FJay

    My company participates in shutdowns for the holidays and honestly? It’s usually welcomed by the end of a crazy and stressful year..(at least for me!) It definitely sucks using my PTO or taking a non paid day so I have to stragtigically plan so my check isn’t TOO low lol. It forsure has it’s pros and cons but I love the pros! Happy Holidays!

    1. Stone Satellite

      When I worked at a company that shut down for two weeks at Christmas it drove me nuts! Not only did I have to use PTO (or go unpaid), but I nearly went stir crazy every single year with two consecutive weeks off at home. I would vastly prefer to take 10 Fridays off in the summer than two weeks when it’s freezing cold and it feels like the sun is only up for an hour a day.

  17. ?

    #1

    Could someone post a link to where the law states this? My employer is doing the same thing and it does seem sketchy. Does it make a difference if it’s local government?

    1. fposte

      Are you exempt or non-exempt? If you’re non-exempt, it’s perfectly legal, as Alison states, because you get paid based on the hours you work. And are they making you take PTO or are they docking your pay?

      1. ?

        I’m exempt and work for city government. My understanding of appropriate deductions listed within the FLSA (and taken from the DOL’s Wage and Hour division) are as follows:

        – An exempt employee is absent for one or more full days for personal reasons other than sickness/disability.
        – For absences due to sickness/disability if the deduction is made in accordance with a bona fide plan, policy, or practice of providing compensation for salary lost due to illness.
        – For disciplinary suspensions of one or more full days.

        Since it’s not specifically stated, that should be my indication that it’s not ok?

        1. Ask a Manager Post author

          But which part are you asking about? Are you asking whether as an exempt employee, they can dock you for a day when the office closes for a holiday, or ….?

          1. ?

            I definitely made that more confusing than it needed to be. Here’s my situation:

            – I am an exempt employee.
            – My employer is closing for the holidays, sporadically between 12/24 – 1/1.
            – For the week of the new year, we must be at work Monday through Wednesday.
            – 12/31 and 1/1 are holiday closures, and we must use PTO or take LWOP if we do not have any PTO available.

            1. Ask a Manager Post author

              If you’re exempt, they can’t make you take leave without pay for those partial weeks when they’re closed, but they can make you use vacation time.

              That said, you work for city government, and it’s possible they’re allowed to play by different own rules; government is inexplicably exempted from some of the FLSA provisions.

            2. MommaTRex

              I posted the thing I found about public agencies in a thread above. The big difference I noted is that it seems you can be docked for partial days instead of just full days, and you can be docked if your leave is exhausted.

        2. MommaTRex

          Dang, I hate it when I could swear I’ve read something, and then I can’t find it. I do know that if an exempt employee has exhausted all leave, they can be docked for a full day but not partial. I thought for sure I read about something different for state and local governments, but I’m having trouble finding it!

          1. Ask a Manager Post author

            Yes, but it’s superseded by the requirement that you can’t dock exempt employees’ pay “for absences occasioned by the employer or by the operating requirements of the business” (like shutting down for those days).

            And yeah, state and local govt can be different.

  18. Orange

    I must be one of the lucky ones.

    My nonprofit closes down between Christmas and New Years, so everyone (we are all salaried) essentially “gained” a week of vacation time when this policy first went into effect two years ago. I found this extremely generous and thoughtful of our leadership because so many of us had to use vacation time for family obligations anyway. Hardly anyone came into the office anyway, so it wasn’t like any work was getting done. One interesting side effect was that people stopped “hoarding” their PTO until the end of the year, and vacations became more evenly dispersed.

  19. Evil

    Man, it’s so weird reading that a lot of people don’t get paid extra for working holidays. In Ontario there are nine (?) statutory holidays, and a lot of places must either close on these days or face a fine if their store is above a certain size, with a few exceptions. Also, if you work on a holiday, you’re entitled to time and a half plus stat pay for that day [your pay rate × (hours you’ve worked in the four weeks previous / 20)], which usually ends up working out to another shift’s worth of pay. If you don’t work on that day, if you worked your scheduled shift directly before and after the holiday, you just get stat pay.

    1. dragonzflame

      Mostly the same in New Zealand. We only have 3.5 days that everything has to shut (and then there are exceptions, usually for businesses that serve food), but there are a bunch of other public holidays and if you have to work, you get time and a half, plus a day in lieu. If a public holiday falls on a weekend, like Christmas Day, they move the observance to the Monday. This year, because Boxing Day is a Saturday, there’s a run of four days off.

      Most places make you take the days between Christmas and New Year off as annual leave, if they close then, but others don’t. It’s different here because it’s our summer holidays so a lot of people make plans anyway. Businesses are usually ghost towns until mid-late January.

  20. Anon for this

    I’m going anon because we keep this policy on the DL because no other state government department does it, apparently (I mean department in my state). But at my employer, they do a “work one get two off” thing. They designate 3 days in the holiday season (depending on when the holidays fall) where if you work one of them, you can take the other two off, paid, without using your vacation. If you want all three days off you have to use vacation (or comp time). Last year it was day after Thanksgiving, day after Christmas, and New Year’s Eve to choose from, since Christmas was on a Thursday. With Christmas on a Friday this year, it’s day after Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and New Year’s Eve. We have a sign-up sheet in our department, and we have to have a certain amount of coverage for each day, so our highest-level employees (there are three of them) have to sign up for three different days, and our mid-level employees (about 15) have to have about 3 per day, and the support staff (5) need one or two per day. Last year I waited too long and had to work day after Thanksgiving instead, but usually I prefer to work New Year’s Eve, since all the fun stuff happens at night anyway.

    Doing it this way ensures that we have bare minimum coverage, but also lets people pick which of the days they’d rather work. It works out nicely, I think.

    Any other time off during the holidays (other than Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day) has to be taken with vacation or comp time. Some people (exempt ones) have tons of comp time built up, and since they lose it at the end of the calendar year, they disappear round about the 15th and don’t show up again until the new year. So it’s super quiet anyway, but for those of us that are non-exempt and therefore don’t tend to have comp time (since working overtime has to be approved), the work-one-get-one thing helps a lot with morale.

  21. Cheeto

    At my new job, you can take off Christmas Eve through New Year’s Day. The office “closes” on those weekdays, though someone from every department is required to be in the office in case of emergency. We get few vacation days because of this. BUT if you elect to work any of those days (even Christmas Eve or New Year’s Eve, when an employee is required to be there only half the day), you get an extra vacation day in the following year. I’m working two this year. Still get a five day weekend and a four day weekend on either side of those two days.

  22. Kyrielle

    Re #1…wait, they can’t do that to non-exempt employees? Because – too long ago to matter now, I fear – $PreviousJob had a period of about three years where one or both of the Christmas and New Year’s weeks were designated as mandatory shutdown, and you had to either spend PTO or take unpaid leave. You could go up to 5 days in the hole on PTO, so if you had none, two weeks (7 days, one year) would exceed what you could take as PTO. This was for staff that was _entirely_ classed (correctly) exempt….

    Of course, they still needed on-call personnel and daytime coverage personnel to support the clients, and THOSE personnel didn’t have to use PTO or take unpaid leave – so they managed an unusually fierce competition for providing coverage (although office-hours coverage was, predictably, more popular than after-hours as a way to achieve that).

    Just surprised because it almost sounds like they actually should not have done what they did, as far as exempt employees who didn’t spend PTO?

    1. Kyrielle

      Argh! This is what I get for not proofing. “Wait, they can’t do that to exempt employees?” would be correct. Sigh.

  23. Kelly

    I work for a public university that went to a different academic calendar this year due to Labor Day being so late. Instead of the last day of finals being Sunday the 20th, it’s now Wednesday the 23rd. We’re closed Xmas day and eve, as well as New Year’s Day and Eve. That means that we are open the semester rather than the reduced break hours from the 21st to the 23rd. It’s a problem for two reasons. One student has already informed us that she won’t be able to work at all that week, leaving a hole in coverage for two days. She won’t be the only one who either has finals or wants to leave early that week. The other problem is that winter break for most K-12 schools starts on the 21st. My coworker is more worried about finding daycare for his kids for those days than about having adequate student coverage. My boss already confirmed with me that I’ll be in all week, which was my plan. I didn’t plan on heading to my parents for Xmas until Xmas eve because I don’t really like driving in the dark during the winter. I had planned on taking the Monday off after Xmas for the same reason. The coworker with kids asked me if I’d give up my vacation day so he didn’t have to pay a babysitter and I told him no. I have plans with my own family and would have to cut them short to get back by Monday morning. He hasn’t been too cooperative when I’ve needed time off, using the kids an excuse, so I was in no mood to do him a favor. Plus, he got the day before Thanksgiving off when I had wanted it off to avoid the heavy Wednesday night traffic.

  24. De

    1 is also true for, at least, Germany and the UK. It’s also not particularly odd – I have never had the opportunity to even be allowed to work between Christmas and New Year’s. Always had to take between 4 and 6 days off.

    1. UK Nerd

      Same here – every company I’ve worked for has shut down for that week. I’ve normally only had to take 3-4 days off though.

      It’s not so bad for us in the UK with our statutory leave entitlement. Taking 3-4 days out of 20+ days is a lot better than taking them out of the 10 days that seems to be common in the US.

      1. De

        Yeah, I get 29 days, so it’s not some horrible burden. December 25th and 26th as well as January 1 are national holidays, so depending on whether they fall on weekdays or not, how many days I take is variable – and I also usually take the 23rd off.

    2. Tara

      If anyone from Canada is reading, both #1 and #2 are not true for us. You have to be paid for any statutory holiday (Christmas and New Years are both national stat holidays), and it doesn’t affect your vacation pay if you wouldn’t be working that day because its closed. They can force you to take your vacation days at a certain time, but if any stat holiday for your province falls on the days they force you to take off, you still have that day.

      As for #2, if you work any hours during a stat holiday (of which there are between 6 and 10 during the year, depending on your province), they have to pay you your stat pay, plus 1.5x your regular hourly rate, so that if you work a full day, and are a full-time employee you generally make 2.5x what you would if it were a regular day.

  25. Tara

    Oh my goodness…. I’m sorry, but the more I read this blog, the happier I become to live and work in Canada. People here take it for granted that they will get paid regular wages on all major holidays, and then double time and a half if they work it. This even counts for fast food, and part time workers (if you’re part time, they pay you the average of time you worked per day for the two weeks prior to the holiday)

  26. Basically Anonymous

    My company is closed for two weeks around Christmas every year. We can use vacation or personal, or “bank” time in the prior two months. Except the banked time isn’t calculated at overtime rates – if you work 43 hours, you bank 3 hours, not 4.5. When I started here, I knew after reading this website that this was illegal – but when I asked about it, I was told that they did it as a favor. Otherwise, we could go unpaid for people who didn’t save vacation or personal time.

  27. YourUnfriendlyPhlebotomist

    A few friends of mine mentioned policies at their jobs that they would be paid time off for the holiday but if they called off for their shift scheduled immediately before or after they would not be paid or able to use PTO, its just unpaid. On one hand I see where it prevents staff from extending their time off but on the other, people legitimately get sick, seems like it would bring moral down. thoughts?

  28. Anxa

    I have no kids, and my immediate every day family is a family of two young(ish) adults.

    I would gladly work any and all holiday days/nights in exchange for being able to take a short week off after Christmas to travel to my mom’s house for a delayed celebration, and a short week sometime in the summer.

  29. Uni Admin

    The more I read this blog the more I realize my company spoils us… We’re closed from Dec 24-Jan 3 at full pay, with no loss of PTO.

  30. Jorge

    My company closed early on Christmas Eve and paid us for the 4 hours we were closed.
    If you had scheduled whole day off though, you had to use 8 hours of PTO. But, they still paid you the 4 extra hours on top of that. Is this right? I would think it would be one or the other. Either you use your full 8 hours of PTO and not get the 4 hours of holiday pay or you only use 4 hours of PTO and get the holiday pay. Seems like they are wasting money doing it that way??

  31. pointlesslyprincipled

    Re: #3 — My office is closing at 1:00 on Friday, July 1 for the holiday weekend. I had requested a vacation day, but I realized this week that I need to catch up on some work (I’ve been on vacation for a few days already) and so I requested to work from home Friday 9-1. My supervisor approved my WFH request but added: “the office closing early is directed only to those in the office on that particular day.” So it seems I either have to work a full day or I have to put down the afternoon as vacation, even though no one will be working in the office at that time. I understand the idea of not being “credited” for an early release you miss out on when you’re on vacation, but what about when you’re actually working that day, just in a remote location? That seems unfair.

  32. Andrew

    Hello i work gor a pool service company and my boss announced a couple weeks ago that he was giving everybody Christmas week off paid for, and now he just got me and 2 other guys and told us that we are working Christmas week but we are getting paid for our route like everyone else but we have to work the whole week doing everybody’s pools that the customers might be anger for not coming that week. We are not getting paid extra for those pools.

  33. Robert Kelly

    Hi. How about if an employee has only 5.75 hours of vacation time? Does he get paid a full day if he doesn’t work? For example, the last day of the pay period he doesn’t work. He has 5.75 hours of vacation time that are used. Is his salary reduced for 2.25 hours? I understand if he worked 5.75 hours he would be paid a full day. But, its unclear about partial time bank days when they don’t work.

  34. K B Sawant

    My brother is permanent driver in a bank. The bank directors force him to take them to their native place on weekly off and bank holidays. My brother is fade up to work on weekly off and other bank holidays for personal work of bank directors, we Convinced the directors. But they treat him like their slave, that my brother should always obey their orders to work on any holiday against his wish, what is the solution? How can my brother fight against rude bank directors, which indian law will help?

  35. Maureen Heverly

    My husband’s company decided to stop all construction work from Dec.22-2017 until Jan.-2 2018.
    That’s 8 days with no pay that we count on every week just to get by. Can my husband recieve unemployment during that time?

  36. Phil waschko

    I am an hourly employee and being forced to take an extra day off without pay. I said to please use one of my vacation days for that day and they said no. Is that legal ?

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